Weekly News: February 18, 2013

Erica Burke, one of many people helped by SHSM's Economic Alternatives program
Erica Burke, one of many people helped by SHSM’s Economic Alternatives program

With help from SHSM, a passion becomes a business

Erica Burke of Ashland, Miss., has always loved to style people’s hair. At 15 she started braiding her friends’ hair and realized that she had found her passion.

“I was the first graduate from J&J Hair Design College in Holly Springs, Mississippi,” said Erica. Armed with her degree, Erica began work in a hair salon. But the salon wasn’t hers; she wanted to run her own shop.

Erica and her husband prayed over renting an old grocery store with their savings. Eventually they worked out a deal with the owner: they’d fix up the place in exchange for free rent during the first few months of a two-year lease.

The salon opened to walk-in traffic; and bills. That’s when Erica realized she needed a few business classes.

Erica signed up for free business classes at the Holly Springs Catholic Social Service office, operated by Sacred Heart Southern Missions. There she met Eleanor Clayborn, coordinator of the Economic Alternatives program, who encouraged Erica to complete the FDIC Small Business program. This program is offered without charge to non-profits to encourage them to work with entrepreneurs in their communities to develop good business practices.

“Are you an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) or Sole-Proprietor?” asked Eleanor. [Eleanor Clayborn, coordinator of the Economic Alternatives] “Do you have a business plan? How are you tracking income and expenses?”

“I didn’t know what an LLC was,” Erica remembers. However, with Eleanor’s help she was able to learn how to answer these questions and get her business on the right track.

Other small business owners in the community have participated in the FDIC program. After each participant completes the course, the FDIC asks him or her to complete a survey. The Holly Springs Economic Alternatives program has received so many positive responses that the FDIC named it as a “Premiere Program.”

Click here to read the full article on the province website.

Please remember

Mary Ella “Phyllis” Jenkins, the mother of Fr. Wayne Jenkins, died February 12. She was 90. Fr. Wayne returned to Canada from Rome to be at the funeral on Saturday.

Click here to read the online obituary.

Also, please remember Fr. Theodor Linnewerth, a member of the German Province, who died February 13. He was born in 1932, professed in 1955 and ordained in 1960.

Keep in prayer

Dorothy Brown, the mother of Fr. Charles Brown, is now in hospice care in Houston. Fr. Charles asks that you keep her in your prayers.


SCJs gather with the cardinal of Berlin following the blessing of the new international community.
SCJs gather with the cardinal of Berlin following the blessing of the new international community.

International community opens in Berlin

On Saturday the Priests of the Sacred Heart inaugurated a new international community in Berlin, Germany. Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Berlin blessed the community during a ceremony attended by over 250 people.

Fr. Wladyslaw Mach
Fr. Wladyslaw Mach

In a city where more than 60% of the population lists no religious affiliation (some have called Berlin the “Atheist Capital of Europe”), the new SCJ community is a counter-cultural island. It includes two Brazilians, two Poles and two Germans. Among them are SCJs with ties to the U.S. Province: Fr. Wladyslaw Mach is an ESL alumnus and Fr. Markus Mönch was a member of the Chicago formation community.

The team will do traditional parish ministry and pastoral care at a nearby university and clinic, as well as ministry to Berlin’s Portuguese immigrant community. However, Fr. Wladyslaw, who is chaplain to a local ER unit, said that it isn’t the ministry itself that is unique but instead, the commitment of the team to do ministry as an international religious community, based in Dehonian spirituality. “We are not ministering as individuals, we are ministering together as a religious community. It is an important signal to those discerning a vocation. We are a religious community and they will see us living that.”

Fr. Markus said that the presence of the Catholic Church in a very secular area gives witness to young people that “faith could be an answer to their search for meaning.”

“It is important to be able to offer a Christian response to the questions people have in their daily lives,” added Fr. Wladyslaw.”

SHST professor honored

Fr. Toan Do, assistant professor of Scripture Studies, has been named 2013 Society of Biblical Literature Midwest Regional Scholar.  This honor was awarded following the presentation of his paper earlier this month at the Midwest regional meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) held in Bourbonnais, IL (a suburb of Chicago).  Fr. Do’s paper will go to the national level with ten other regional award recipients for consideration for the national award.

The SBL is the largest and most prestigious international association of biblical scholars.

Speaking of SHST…

Msgr. Ross Shecterle, president-rector of Sacred Heart School of Theology, was interviewed on Milwaukee’s WTMJ-Channel 4 following the pope’s announcement of his retirement.

Click here to view the video.

Being present

Sometimes the best way to promote vocations to the Church is to simply be present to young people. This is one of the reasons several vocation directors in the Milwaukee area are among those joining pastoral staff at Marquette University in a Lenten program with students.

Approximately 40 university students are taking part in the program. Last Tuesday, the group gathered for an opening Lenten prayer service. During Lent, the students will meet each week with a spiritual director. Br. Ray Kozuch, province vocation director, is directing two students during the six weeks.

Besides this program, the university suggests many other ways in which students –– or anyone –– can do something to acknowledge Lent. One of the suggestions? To abstain not from candy but from technology. In a plugged-in world how long could you go without internet access? Of course, we wouldn’t want you to go so long that you would miss reading the Fridge Notes!

Provincial’s time

Fr. Tom Cassidy was in Ontario for the funeral for Fr. Wayne Jenkins’ mother on Saturday. He will be Milwaukee area this week and then heads to Chicago for the Los Jóvenes meeting (meeting of younger members of the province) before leaving for Italy on February 28 for the European major superiors meeting. Held in Albino (northern Italy), the European meeting is a continuation of discussions that took place at the European Conference on Secularity in 2011.

Updates from the meeting will be on the Generalate’s website: www.dehon.it/en